I’ll just come out and say it: Herod are one of the heaviest bands in recent memory. Ever since their last album, Sombre Dessein – one of the best albums of 2019 – it was apparent they were the newest shining star of Pelagic Records‘ far-reaching, legendary line-up. I was elated to hear of their next album on the horizon. It’s called Iconoclast, and it’s due out May 5. Starting with lead single “The Edifice“, it’s apparent that the Swiss post-metal/sludge monsters aren’t looking to tone things down any time soon.
To contextualize the album’s sound – and the band themselves if you’re not privy – guitarist Pierre Carroz details his influences that instinctively go into making Herod the wrecking ball it is: ‘I’m obsessed with late ’90s Meshuggah, early Dillinger Escape Plan, and early Cult of Luna‘. For the album’s title and theming, Carroz explains, ‘The word iconoclast has had different meanings throughout history. In the past it meant the destruction of holy images but today it signifies the aggression towards the rule; a political, social and liberating act.‘
Today, we have “The Becoming” to premiere, the second single of Iconoclast and a great entry point into one of this era’s great metal bands. Check it out via this harrowing lyric video and meet me on the other side if you don’t get pulverized to dust.
I can’t lie – I’ve looped this song about ten times before writing this article, and I still am to maintain the mood. “The Becoming” is cataclysmic, simple as that. Herod have the precise mixture of elements – writing, tone, melody, execution – to make them sound more massive than nearly anyone else out there. As subtle as the sacking of a whole city, it effortlessly moves from bludgeoning verse to cutting chorus and back, creating a pissed-off tempest of heft and efficiency. Not a single second is wasted here. Every note is purposeful and where it should be, making for a four-minute cavalcade worthy of the four horsemen of the apocalypse.
“The Becoming” sets the mood for an absolute levelling of any structures nearby. It can’t be overstated just how well this track works for Herod, but again, if you peeped Sombre Dessein and its equally masterful tracks like “Reckoning“, you probably saw this coming miles away like an impending invasion. You’ll also notice a visual theme of the fall of antiquity, rulers of old eroding to war and time, conflict and bloodshed deciding the future of civilization for eras to come. It’s a neverending cycle, one that the quintet sonically represent in a manner just a brutal as the subject itself. What else would you expect from a band named after the Roman Jewish king of Judea? It’s not all for death’s sake though – Carroz offers one last gem and reminder that the end for something is the beginning for another: ‘Every destructive act is in itself a creative act of transformation. Recreating something new out of broken elements.‘
Big thanks to Herod and all their representatives for setting this up with us. We’re big fans here at Everything Is Noise, and this plays perfectly to our goal to showcase the most interesting music we can. You can follow Herod into battle with a like/follow on Facebook and Instagram. Check them out on Spotify and Bandcamp if you haven’t already. Might wanna bring some plate armor and a helm, though.